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NEWS STORIES

Wisconsin Public Service to pay $80,000 fineSubmitted: 08/30/2013
Story By Lex Gray

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ROTHSCHILD - Wisconsin Public Service will pay $80,000 in air pollution fines.

WPS has the potential to release a lot of pollutants into the air. Companies like that have to have an air pollution control permit from the DNR.

A judge ruled WPS violated the permit for its Rothschild coal fired power plants.

WPS reported to the DNR it released more carbon monoxide and sulfur dioxide than the permit allows.

Randy Oswald is an environmental programs manager for WPS. He says the violations happened back in 2008 and 2009, when the company was firing up Weston Coal Power Plant 4.

"It was a brand-new plant with a lot of new systems," Oswald said. "As we were shaking down and getting systems started and tested and operational, there were a few events that were related to getting the systems operating correctly that we exceeded that limits in our permit."

Another violation was related to not understanding permit requirements, but Oswald says the company knows its their responsibility to understand the permit.

"We value our compliance record. The last of these events happened well over three years ago, maybe four years ago," he said. "We haven't had any violations of that permit, even though it's very extensive, since then. Our position is we want to be in compliance, we know it's our obligation to be in compliance with everything in our permit."

WPS's Rothschild plant hasn't had an air pollution violation since 2009.

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 IN OTHER NEWS
What We're Working OnSubmitted: 08/01/2014

- A 43-year-old Green Bay man killed himself after shooting at people in cars and leading police on a chase last week in Marinette County. Coming up on Newswatch 12, hear from a 911 call from a person shot at by the 43-year-old man, and see video of the dramatic chase.

- At least 116 thousand people with some type of dementia live in Wisconsin. More than half of them will wander at some point. A new tool could help their families find them. Find out what it is tonight on Newswatch 12.

- The Minocqua Area Chamber of Commerce will welcome a new executive director later this month. Find out about Krystal Westfahl tonight on Newswatch 12.

- And a slow and shaky start to the summer growing season didn't hurt some farmers in Langlade County. That's because cooler temperatures can actually help some crops like peas. Newswatch 12's Karolina Buczek spoke with farmers in Langlade County to find out how successful their harvest was.

We'll have the details on those stories and more tonight on Newswatch 12 - news from where you live.

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Girl, 12, not competent for trial in stabbingSubmitted: 08/01/2014

WAUKESHA - One of two 12-year-old Wisconsin girls charged as an adult with stabbing a classmate to please a fictional online horror character has been found mentally unable to stand trial.

A judge declared the girl incompetent Friday and ordered her committed for treatment. Two doctors who examined the girl had submitted reports saying they didn't think she was competent.

Court documents say the two 12-year-olds plotted for months to kill their former friend to win favor with Slender Man, a character in online horror stories. Documents say they lured the victim into a wooded park following a sleepover and stabbed her 19 times.

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UPDATE: Update: Incredible video & 911 call sheds light on Marinette County police chase & shootingSubmitted: 08/1/2014

MARINETTE COUNTY - New dash cam video from a police chase in Marinette County last Thursday afternoon shows just how dangerous the situation was for drivers on the road. 43-year-old Robb DeGroot of Green Bay was crossing lanes into traffic and also shooting at other cars along the way.

Audio released by the Marinette County Sheriff's Office shows the confusion and fear from drivers getting shot at by DeGroot.

"He just fired out the window again," said the Illinois man that called police about the July 25 incident.

DeGroot led police on a more than 20 minute chase in Marinette County. The caller told the dispatch officer that DeGroot was weaving between traffic.

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Minocqua Chamber names new directorSubmitted: 08/01/2014

MINOCQUA - The Minocqua Area Chamber of Commerce will welcome a new executive director later this month.

Krystal Westfahl will start at the chamber August 21st. She'll replace Kim Baltus who left to join the Howard Young Foundation.

Westfahl comes to the Northwoods from Appleton. That's where she has been in charge of fundraising for the Muscular Dystrophy Association of Wisconsin for the past seven years. Before that, she worked as director of the Sampson State Park World War Two Military Museum in Upstate New York.

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Sex offender releasedSubmitted: 08/01/2014

RHINELANDER - A man convicted of breaking into a 15-year old girl's basement and sexually assaulting her in 2011 will move to Rhinelander when he's released from prison.

26-year-old Jason L. Mullen will be released from prison August 5th. He'll move into a transitional living home in Rhinelander.

Mullen broke into a basement window of an Oneida County home. A 15-year-old girl he knew lived there. He told her he had a knife and sexually assaulted her. It turns out he didn't have a knife.

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Successful pea harvest despite cool Spring temperaturesSubmitted: 08/01/2014

ANTIGO - A slow and shaky start to the summer growing season didn't hurt some farmers in Langlade County. That's because cooler temperatures can actually help some crops like peas.

Some farmers just finished harvesting their peas this week.It's the first vegetable crop of the season and farmers at Sunnydale Farms believe it was a great harvest.

They think cooler temperatures helped some of their crops stay healthy.

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Barbeque lovers come to the northwoods this weekend for "Pig in the Pines"Submitted: 08/01/2014

ST. GERMAIN - In the south, you can find barbeque on every corner. Up here it's not that easy... But if you're craving it, you can head to Pig in the Pines this weekend.

It's the 10th annual year of the event in St. Germain. There are award winning ribs, live music and family friendly attractions to enjoy.

Barbeque lovers from across the midwest are drawn to Pig in the Pines...and of course everything is finger licking good.

"It does help the community," says St. Germain Chamber Director Penny Wiesmann. "It draws people from all over the Midwest. We have people talking about; this is their fourth or fifth annual year. The smells are incredible. You don't know where to go. You don't know if you should get ribs or pork or brisket or the corn. Try everything. Eat all day long."

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